Back before Covid, I used to travel a lot. I found a rhythm and knew exactly what I liked to do and what I didn’t. Now, after months at home, I’m once again about to board a plane, this time to California to see my new grandbaby. (Whee!) I’m flying there with my husband and guess what I discovered…(remember more than one can be right!)

A. After 36 years of marriage, we are a well-oiled machine. No issues, no arguments, no…I’m sorry. I couldn’t even type this without cracking up. This is not true!

B. As I’ve aged, travel gets harder. Sure, I know where I’m going, but ouch—back ache, foot swelling, and now the mask is hot plus I’m afraid I’ll bring Covid to my newborn grandchild every time someone looks at me from less than 6 feet away. It’s awful growing old especially in the time of Covid.

C. Life is fun! After being locked in my house for months, it’s so exciting to see so many new people! I’m chatting, I’m happy, life is a grand adventure!

D. My husband and I revert to our complete opposite personalities when traveling. He’s usually a semi-grouchy introvert but suddenly he’s laughing, trying to engage me in chatter, and is completely delightful which would be awesome except I become a complete don’t talk to me grump. Something about travel makes me very focused and very silent. His chatter annoys me as much as my usual chatter must annoy him. WTF?

Answer: D—yes I revert to a complete introvert during travel. It’s bizarre when my normally silent husband wants to be chatty. It’s totally weird and I’ve got no explanation for it.

As for the other options, I do think growing older can suck and anxiety is high in the time of Covid. But the pains of aging are far outweighed by wisdom and perspective. At least today they are. Tomorrow may be different. And yes, my husband and I have been married for 36 years and we bump along well together, but we’re not a well oiled machine. More like a rusty, half busted one that nevertheless seems to function. And finally, I’ve been locked inside a long time, but not long enough to overcome my general quiet focus while traveling.

I still don’t get what my issue is with that. I’ve never been an introvert ever except while flying, so please—anyone—do you suffer a personality change while traveling? Do you know why?

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